By Lea Wojciechowski Ross, Blogger for Dotten Collision ~ May 13, 2016
Do you want your business to grow by leaps and bounds? Do you want to be better known and more trusted than your competitors? Are you looking for a new way to market your business and see your investment pay off?
Give Business Networking International (BNI) a try!
BNI is the world’s leading referral organization. It is a global network of professionals (190,000 members strong in 7,300 chapters across the world) who understand the power of the referral-based business growth model. These professionals know that “Givers Gain” – that is, they have a mindset that says “if I give business to the members of my chapter, in return they will want to give me business.” When professionals build relationships with other professionals and give referrals to them to make their businesses grow, those initially on the receiving end will return the favor and give referrals too. “In 2015 alone, BNI members generated millions of referrals resulting in over $9.3 billion in closed business worldwide” (BNI website). Divided among 190,000 members worldwide, that’s an average of almost $50,000 per person in just one year – that’s a significant amount of increased income just from a word-of-mouth-based system.
BNI is based on human relationships and word of mouth communication. Word of mouth has always been a highly effective (if not the most effective) method of marketing. No matter how much we think we are rational, thoughtful human beings, we still make most of our decisions for an emotionally charged reason – and to hear from someone we know and trust that they recommend a professional that they already know and trust makes us very likely to want to work with that professional as well.
According to BNI’s website, some of the benefits of membership in a BNI chapter include:
- Increased exposure to many other people and businesses.
- Substantially increased referrals.
- Tools to network more effectively, including an orientation CD giving the “Formula for Success” in BNI, a badge, a vinyl card holder to carry members’ business cards, referral slips, marketing materials for your chapter and much more.
- Participation in up to 52 networking meetings per year.
- Bi-monthly newsletters with educational material on networking, public speaking, and business.
- Participation in business tradeshows (where you'll have an opportunity to market your chapter and your business).
- Free periodic workshops on networking.
If you join BNI, you can think of every other member of your chapter as your personal advocate, extra eyes and ears to find ideal clients who would benefit from your business’s services, and an extra mouth to speak up and give your elevator speech to any ideal clients that they encounter. Watch your referrals increase, your client pool expand, and your income increase. Watch yourself learn about new business practices, network with people across a variety of fields, and build relationships that give back personally as well as financially.
Don’t believe it? Check out some testimonials from members of the BNI Troy Business Builders:
“BNI accounts for 17% of my revenue.” –Tim Anderson, Automotive Authority, Inc. (www.auto-authority.com)
“BNI gives me an entire Business Resource Group of contacts to share with my customers.” – Randy Violett, Chantelle Jewelers (www.chantellejewelers.com)
"With BNI you have a sales force of 30 people to help you consistently grow your business." –Jeff Pratt, American Insurance Advisors (www.healthinsurancemichigan.com)
“The most valuable things about being a longtime member of BNI are the friends and contacts I've made over the years.” –Marianne Balogh, Style by Marianne (www.stylebymarianne.com)
“BNI puts me in regular contact with trusted professionals such as handymen, electricians, real estate agents, insurance agents, lawn care professionals, and lawyers, which takes the guess work out of finding the right person to hire for any job I need done. BNI also provides the opportunity to build relationships with the other members and gain new business through referrals. Though I am still new to BNI and have a lot to learn, I am along for the journey.” –Josh Ross, The J-RO School of Music (www.jropro.com)
“I have been a member of BNI for over 15 years and the referrals I receive account for an average of 15-20% of my annual revenue.” –Bob Fries, Rising Sun Investments, LLC (www.rsinv.com)
“I joined BNI 10 years ago and have developed business relationships unlike any other source of business.” –Aaron Blakemore, Liberty Mutual Insurance (www.libertymutual.com/aaronblakemore)
“BNI has enabled me to make valuable business connections; gain trust from the members and their extensive contacts, which has helped my business immensely; and make lasting friendships with my fellow BNI members.” –Ted Broberg, Pristine Painting Co.
You can start TODAY! Find your local BNI chapter, contact the president of the chapter, and set up a time to visit a meeting so you can experience BNI first-hand before joining.
For more information, check out: